The Monterey Style of architecture spread within a brief period to almost every occupied part of the Mexican province of California through a network of Hispanic family kinships. Beginning with the prototype-the house the American consul Thomas Larkin constructed in Monterey between 1835-1837 from the memory of buildings he knew in Massachusetts and the Carolinas-these houses played a significant role in the "Americanization" of Alta California. It was a rare instance in which American architecture, penetrating to the core of the ruling native families, shared fully with economic and military superiority in the process of United States annexation of a foreign territory. The study of Hispanic kinships in promoting the Monterey Style prior to annexation in 1846 shows the important place of architecture in the correlation of economy, family, politics, and culture in a crucial period of American westward expansion.
- Copyright 1984 The Society of Architectural Historians